–Li Wei’s mother, Lin Hui, died after giving birth to him.

    So the mother he always mentioned, the one who immigrated to Canada when he was very young and who would come back to be with him whenever he encountered some difficulties, was in fact all his own imagination.

    Janet, the mom in his head, had a beautiful English name……

    Li Wei’s Schizophrenia was severe, not only auditory hallucinations , there was also a deeper level of visual hallucinations that came with it.

    In the previous life, after Li Wei committed suicide, his psychiatrist, Michael, was interviewed on a psychological health show where Li Wei is the main topic of discussion.

    Michael said that it wasn’t until Li Wei was an adult that he realized that he most likely had delusions and the worst kind of delusions that were accompanied by hallucinations.

    This realization was terrifying and no one could handle it, especially for someone with as much self-control as he had.

    And at one point, he was unable to accept the fact that his mother had died years earlier, much less his own terrible Schizophrenia.

    He began to lose his ability to distinguish between reality and delusion, and his entire being became extremely sensitive and neurotic. From that time on, he doubted that all the reality around him was false, and even doubted the reality of the fundamental Theoretical Physics he was working on, and whether scientific truths really exist.

    The worldview guided the methodology, a materialistic worldview that he believed in for almost twenty years began to show cracks after experiencing the detailed visual and auditory hallucinations.

    This collapse in his beliefs was a storm that was overwhelming for him, who was already alone in the world and it was enough to destroy all his knowledge and persistence.

    How horrible for him to have lost the only belief he had in life, when he already had no regard for anything in the world…

    So, in his second year, Li Wei suffered several outbreaks of severe depression and began his first psychological treatment and struggle with the disease.

    After that, he took a semester off from school and suspended all of his coursework and research work.

    No one knows where he went during that semester’s gap, so far. No one knows how he got through that time, how he told himself over and over again that the world was real and that he was the only one with a problem.

    But when he came back, he found a way to escape and suppress his mental illness and continued his education with renewed difficulty.

    The good news is that there is another side to his mental illness, which is his insight and perception of the world that surpasses that of others a hundred times over.

    His research was going well.

    In his third year, Li Wei made a very important breakthrough in the field of pairwise entanglement entropy with his amazing scientific talent, and published a PRL article , which had an amazing number of citations in just a few months and was a sensation in the whole Theoretical Physics community.

    The article was named the most important progress in the field in the last decade, and many people could not believe that the first author of the article was a junior undergraduate student.

    He was later accepted as a full-award PhD at Stanford, received his PhD within three years, and was even hired as a full professor at Princeton University after only one year of post-doctoral work after graduation.

    Behind the glamour and sensation, for him, there was darkness with no hope in sight. He could not get out, could not escape, it was like stepping onto a wooden bridge over the abyss, and the slightest mistake would be the end for him.

    Michael said, due to busy research work, Li Wei did not have the mind to quietly think about his own life, he subconsciously and involuntarily suppressed his own mental illness, and controlled it with drugs.

    The medication had very limited effect on his mental illness, and even more so on his memory and judgment. The drug dosage increased day by day but his mental illness became more and more serious.

    At the age of 35, he finally made a breakthrough in the subject he had been working on for years, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics that year.

    After failing in his attempts to confront the problem, he, like his father, chose to end his life.

    The day before the award ceremony, he slit his wrists in the bathroom at home, Zhang Man has seen a coded picture on Weibo, with a large bright red background, which had caused her to fall into a nightmare every night.

    Nobody knew whether it was despair or relief at that time.

    –Li Wei once said that he had a feeling that one day, the darkness would completely engulf him.

    –The earth is like a vast universe, and not every planet is fortunate enough to complete all its evolution and collapse in peace. There are some people who are born unfortunate. They toss and turn all their lives, stumbling and trying their best to live in this world, only to be pushed to a dead end by fate again and again.

    Even he could not escape from it.

    ……

    In September, the climate was unpredictable, the sun was still blazing in the daytime yesterday, but today it’s a storm with lightning and thunder, raining heavily without mercy on the green wall crawlers on the window sills.

    For several days it has been stifling hot and humid, the air became saturated with moisture, and the temperature plummeted with the arrival of the storm.

    Outside the window, the night was pitch-black, and there was no moonlight on such a stormy day. Many of the pedestrians outside were caught off guard and ran around in a mess, trying to find a shelter from the rain. In this kind of heavy rain, everyone had to give in and stop for a while.

    Except time.

    There was no stopping time, it was the most relentless, repetitiously moving forward and leaving them behind, with no end in sight.

    The screen window in the room was open halfway and the slightly cold wind poured in, bringing in a cold vapor. Zhang Man raised her hand over her eyes, her tears running down the corners of her eyes, wetting the pillow at the bottom.

    She knew she was never a brave and smart person but she was a little bit more stubborn compared to the others.

    She could pull him out of his own world someday and if one year didn’t work, then five, and if it wasn’t enough, then a decade.

    –The good news was that there were still almost twenty years left.

    At present, however, Li Wei was completely unaware of the fact that he was delusional and in his consciousness, his mother would come back every time he needed her.

    The trigger for this time would have been the apology letter that needed a parent’s signature.

    The fact that he was schizophrenic could be found in many details.

    For example, the signature on the apology letter, Zhang Man had carefully compared it, and that handwriting was actually a more showy version of Li Wei’s own handwriting.

    Also, his kitchen was spotless, with no traces of cooking, not to mention the two takeaway boxes thrown in the trash.

    But often, people with this mental illness would unconsciously ignore some irrational parts, even a person as logical and meticulous as Li Wei.

    Therefore, it was extremely difficult and extremely dangerous to let him discover this on his own, and it could easily cause a huge blow to his mental state, just like in his previous life.

    Zhang Man thought about all the possibilities and passed out in a trance, her temples aching with rising pain. This night, amidst the never-ending roar of thunder, she began to have recurring nightmares again, with half of the background of the dream being a blinding bright red and half of it being filled with creepy darkness.

    Just like in her previous life.

   ……

    After the overnight rainstorm, the sultry weather was a little fresher, a few sparrows stopped chirping at the window sill, making loud noises.

    When she woke up, she felt something wrong. The sunlight from outside shone through the window and she could feel the unbearable heat even with her eyes closed.

    She had a headache and her throat hurt as if there were a thousand knives hidden inside.

    She was too weak to move, let alone get up.

    It should have been the result of yesterday’s hot weather outside. When she returned after using the fan for so long it started to rain outside and she forgot to close the window, so she caught a cold. Lost in a daze, she called out and Zhang Huifang came in from outside, reaching out to touch her forehead.

    “Zhang Man, what’s wrong with you, your forehead is so hot? I came back yesterday and noticed that you fell asleep without closing the window.” Zhang Huifang’s hand felt hot as she patted Zhang Man’s flushed cheeks, her tone somewhat anxious.

    Zhang Man opened her mouth to explain but her throat was so hoarse that she couldn’t make any sound.

    Zhang Huifang flipped out a thermometer from the medicine cabinet on the bedside table and put it under her armpit for her, and when she picked it up a few minutes later, it was 39.8 degrees.

    “The fever is too high, Man Man, How much longer can you hold on? Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.” She reached her hands under Zhang Man’s arms and hugged her whole body out of the bed, helping her to get dressed.

    Zhang Man was startled, her thoughts unclear from the fever.

    Man Man.

    It seemed like she hadn’t heard Zhang Huifang call her that for a very, very long time.

    She vaguely remembered that when she was small, Zhang Huifang would hug her, dress her up and take her out, and call her so affectionately when she is introduced to her friends. But then she grew silent and the relationship between mother and daughter became cold.

    The distracting thoughts didn’t last long, and she feverishly passed out.

    ……

    Zhang Man was woken up by a cry, and she opened her eyes to find that she was in the infusion area of the hospital. There were a dozen or so single beds throughout the large room, a few were empty but most of them had people with drips hanging from them.

    The one crying was a child across the room who was getting an injection, turning his head in fear to avoid looking at the needle in the nurse’s hand, wailing loudly with his mouth open.

    The smell of disinfectant in the air was strong, choking her a little so she rolled over and coughed, her head still a little dizzy.

    Zhang Huifang was dozing next to her, woken up by the movement of her turning over and raised her head, her voice surprised, “Zhang Man, you’ re awake? Want some water?”

    Zhang Man nodded and sat up in a befuddled state throughout. She lifted her hand and found that her left hand was also on a drip.

    Zhang Huifang went to the ward’s water dispenser to get a glass of water, helped her sit up, and fed her a small half cup.

    “Do you want something to eat? I bought fried noodles and wonton soup.” Zhang Huifang used a tissue to press the corner of Zhang Man’s mouth.

    Something to eat? 

    Oh no!

    Her groggy brain snapped awake and Zhang Man remembered that she had promised Li Wei yesterday that she would go early today to cook for him. She hurriedly got up from the bed and put on her shoes and wanted to go out, but was pulled by Zhang Huifang.

    “What are you doing? Didn’t you check what time it is? You’re burning so badly, why are you messing around? Just behave yourself, your drip isn’t even over yet.”

    Zhang Man was stunned, the fluorescent lights overhead bobbed in her eyes, and it was only then that she realized that it was now night, and she had passed out for a whole day……

    Her heart pumped and her entire nerves began to tense.

    She wondered if Li Wei would remain at home and wait for her with a hungry stomach, he shouldn’t be, right? He wouldn’t be so stupid, right?


Translator’s Note:

“Believing something existed and then finding out it didn’t was like reaching the top of the stairs and thinking there was one more step.”


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Mei
A Japanese language student that decided to translate Chinese Novels during the pandemic. If you want to support us, you can buy us a ko-fi. To maintain the site and support the translators as well. Thank you for reading!
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hardtofu

I sense an angst cominggggg, li wei you poor boy… Anyway thanks for the chapters~

Renren

What happened to work ethics and patient confidentiality, Michael? As a psychiatrist, you are not allowed to disclose a patient’s condition just because you’re in an interview. Or I could be wrong, maybe the medical privacy in China isn’t the same in other countries.

Arc

maybe because he is famous and everyone wants to know his story and experience

Tenshineko

I had the same thought. His psychiatrist was in the US, not China (sounds like he was at Princeton) so shouldn’t be babbling all his secrets as soon as he died…

Pomelo

Yep. Come on, there’s HIPAA dammit.

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